British Adventurer Missing for Weeks After Pursuing Tribe of Headhunters in Papua New Guinea
British writer Benedict Allen has been found “alive and well” after he went missing for three weeks while pursuing a remote tribe of headhunters in Papua New Guinea.
Frank Gardner, the BBC’s security correspondent tweeted that his 57-year-old veteran explorer friend had been spotted.
“ … UK explorer @benedictallen has been sighted, ‘alive and well’ nr airstrip in Papua New Guinea after being reported missing while trekking,” Gardner said, according to South China Morning Post.
Allen’s agent, Joanna Sarsby, explained, “Keith Copley, the coordinating director for New Tribe Mission in Papua New Guinea has confirmed Benedict Allen is safe and well, and located at a remote airstrip 20 miles northwest of Porgera, Enga Province. Confirmation on his exact location coordinates are now being confirmed to arrange evacuation.”
Allen hired a helicopter to drop him off at an abandoned mission station as he ventured through the remote island without bringing a GPS device or phone with him.
The father-of-three, who has written numerous exploration books, was looking for the Yaifo, an indigenous tribe he described as “the last people on the entire planet who are out-of-contact with our interconnected world.”
This isn’t the first time Allen personally met the tribe, but the last contact he made was 30 years ago.
Allen reportedly missed his scheduled “The Great Explorer: Life on the Edge” talk at the Hong Kong branch of the Royal Geographic Society, which was supposed to be held on Wednesday. The event organizers have already rescheduled the talk for next year, but there’s still no news on the British writer’s whereabouts.
Allen’s family were extremely stressed since he was supposed to make his way home on Sunday, according to MailOnline. The last update the British explorer made on social media was a chilling tweet that read, “Marching off to Heathrow. I may be some time (don’t try to rescue me, please – where I’m going in PNG you won’t ever find me you know.”
Marching off to Heathrow. I may be some time (don’t try to rescue me, please – where I’m going in PNG you won’t ever find me you know…) pic.twitter.com/BmH1DKdheS
Allen’s 35-year-old wife Lenka revealed that she was “seriously worried” and that her children constantly asked her “When’s Daddy coming home?”
“He has been so careful since I married him. He hasn’t done anything this scary and slightly reckless – it’s the first time that he has gone on his own, he hasn’t really shared his plans with me either, or with anyone else, so we don’t really know the route he was taking on the way back. It’s really scary, that he’s done this.” Lenka explained.
“He doesn’t take modern technology because he thinks it spoils the experience and he can’t rely on his knowledge of nature and his abilities because he could always just telephone for a helicopter which is too easy, to an extent it makes sense, but it is a dangerous way of exploring,” she continued.
Sarsby believed that the British adventurer was capable of surviving his expedition.
“He is a highly experienced explorer, very clever and resourceful and adept at surviving in the most hostile places on Earth, and he would never give up,” Sarsby explained.
Sarsby mentioned that Allen is “very fit” for his age, but also reiterated that he was looking for “a very remote and reclusive tribe.”
“Possibly headhunters, quite a scary bunch. Goodness knows what has happened,” Sarsby added.
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